Cookeville Regional held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for an expansion project that will bring 40 additional beds.
The 4 West/5 West project is further along than what a groundbreaking would suggest. Rooms are framed and drywall is up in some places, though some wiring and pipes are still exposed. Chief Executive Officer Buffy Key said the medical center has to expand as the community needs grow.
“Adding 20 rooms up here is going to be huge for us,” Key said. “Whether we put observation patients up here or just regular med surg patients whatever it is. Again, by giving us more rooms up here it gets people out of that ER that need to be admitted and that’s always important, because the ER is kind of our front door to the community.”
This phase of the project is the 5 West expansion. Key said they are getting ready to start the 4 West expansion, which will add another 20 beds to the hospital, bringing the total to 40 new rooms. She said Cookeville Regional will continue to look ahead to expand other areas of the facility in the future.
“What we are also evaluating right now is what can we do to expand our ER for the community as well as always OR services and all of that,” Key said. “Our main goal is to keep the community needs here so that people don’t have to travel.”
Key said the expansion will also allow the hospital to add four more dialysis rooms to the facility, bringing the total to six. She said there is a huge need in the community for dialysis.
“Everything that we do is for what our community needs,” Key said. “You know, we serve 14 different counties in the region. With that, we do have a lot of dialysis patients, and so while you have different dialysis centers around, when the patients are inpatients it’s very important that they get their dialysis here and not have to wait for an outpatient service.”
Cookeville Mayor Laurin Wheaton and Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter attended the groundbreaking. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.